Toys for Tots launches in Benewah County

Bins for the annual Toys for Tots toy drive will go up this Friday, November 13. Deputy Mike Richardson and Laci St. John are a few of local residents that help Undersherriff Tony Eells coordinate the program.

The Benewah County Sheriff’s Office seeks to bring Christmas cheer to the less fortunate.

The local sheriff’s department is again sponsoring the Toys for Tots toy drive in Benewah County. Though the amount of bins locals can find at businesses may be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers of the toy drive want to make sure that the results are similar to years past.

Undersheriff Tony Eells said that the BCSO has organized the toy drive for four years and that they have recognized that there is a need to support local children.

“We took that over when city got rid of its police department about four years ago,” Mr. Eells said. “It’s an important thing for us and the community.”

Mr. Eells said that in 2019, the BCSO gave toys to about 130 children in Benewah County and that when sheriff’s deputies deliver the presents to parents, they are always grateful.

The organizers said that the toy drive attracts a lot of community members who want to help and that they see plenty of donations each year. Organizer Laci St. John said that she sees people from all around the county make time to drop off toys.

“The community really comes through every year,” Ms. St. John said. “And not just St. Maries but the entire county.”

Mr. Eells said that there is no limitations on the kinds of children’s toys that can be donated to the bins. He did ask that this year some focus goes towards the age groups of 10 to 12 years old.

“We are open to just about any toy, though the last couple of years haven’t had enough for the age group 10 to 12,” Mr. Eells said. “Last year we had to purchase gifts for that age group. Money donations are always helpful too.”

He said that the group is still accepting applications from local businesses to apply to have a bin in their stores. He said this year the applications can be found at the Benewah County Clerk’s Office and the Driver’s License office.

Mr. Eells also said that he will have a booth on Main Avenue during Christmas in St. Maries Saturday, December 5, and will be accepting donations.

The toy drive runs from November 13, to December 18 and toys can so far be dropped off at Rize Gaming, The Milling Center, 208 Bakery and Espresso, 10th Street Super Stop, Country Fair, KNRH Printing and Designs, St. Maries Public Library and Ryans' Dollar Depot.

For more information contact Mr. Eells at 208-245-2555.

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